Well what a great time it was yesterday evening at the Light Party. We had nearly 120 children there – although it sometime felt even louder due to the noise! The children seemed to really enjoy the time and they certainly kept the 45 adult volunteers busy. With a live band, games and loads of food what more could you want to enjoy it.
So why do we have a light party? Well as Christians we wanted to reclaim halloween. Halloween comes from the phrase All-Hallows eve, which means the night before All Saints day. It celebrates all the saints that have gone before. Of course it has been corrupted in popular culture to mean a focus on ghosts and ghouls and that comes from both the idea of the dead gone before us and also some ancient customs from Celtic and Roman times (although in the case of the latter I don’t doubt that they have been conveniently been “re-discovered”).
So we wanted to reclaim it as a time to focus on good things. A chance to remember the saints that have gone before. A chance to remember that all Christians are called to be light to the world in imitation of The Light of the World – namely Jesus.
Too many children are exposed to too much darkness and rubbish. I remember living next door to a family who had a 10 year old child that they fostered. When they moved he was adopted by a family who said to him “you’re ok watching 18’s aren’t you?” So sad to see a child being exposed to all that when so young.
Even so our role is not to criticise others so much as be able to map an alternative that resonates and that is seen to have value. In this the Light Party plays a small part in showing an alternative worldview where love and joy and peace are seen as a better way.
So, we want to encourage and build up and strengthen all that is good.
And we are not the only ones. On the way back I met up with the new minister of St Pat’s and his wife Katie coming back from the Light Party that they held at their church. They also had a good turnout. Its good to see more and more wanting a positive alternative for their children.
So, I’m looking forward to next year’s Light Party.